Martin Keown snubs Jude Bellingham ‘world-class’ claims as Rio Ferdinand names 12 best players in the world

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Premier League icons Rio Ferdinand and Martin Keown engaged in a debate regarding whether England star Jude Bellingham has already reached ‘world-class’ status.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand continues to face criticism from Arsenal fans for his recent remarks about Gunners winger Bukayo Saka.

The Manchester United legend holds the opinion that Saka is not yet ‘world-class’, igniting a broader discussion on the criteria for defining such a term.

In elaborating on his stance prior to Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Porto on Wednesday night, Ferdinand emphasised that in his view, only 12 active players currently meet his standard for being labelled ‘world-class’.

The players Ferdinand considers ‘world-class’ are: Ederson, Kyle Walker, Rodri, Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Jr, Harry Kane, Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Kylian Mbappe, and Erling Haaland.

In response to the list, former Arsenal defender Keown questioned on TNT Sports why Real Madrid superstar Bellingham deserves a place over Saka.

“I think Bellingham is one I question. He’s in amazing form, what he’s doing at Real Madrid right now, but we look at Saka.

“Saka’s been the England Player of the Year. Bellingham hasn’t got a look in. Maybe Rio is being a bit mischievous with Arsenal fans.”

Ferdinand then explained: “Saka’s got that world-class potential, but he hasn’t been exposed to the knockout stages of the Champions League and the longevity. That’s the difference.”

More Stories Alisson Becker Ederson Erling Haaland Harry Kane Jude Bellingham Kevin De Bruyne Kyle Walker Kylian Mbappe Martin Keown Mo Salah Rio Ferdinand Rodri Vinicius Jr Virgil van Dijk